Maui, Hawaii

Tag: Lahaina

Maui Open Studios – explore Maui!

It’s February and that means it’s time for the free self-guided tour of some of Maui’s artists’ studios. This annual event is called Maui Open Studios. If you enjoy exploring and art – check this out. I promise you, you will find places on Maui you have never been before and meet some interesting people along the way.

Grab a copy of the print guide or browse the online PDF edition. Then each weekend check out some new favorite artists, watch them in action, talk to them about their art and maybe buy a very unique souvenir of your Maui trip!

Last weekend was their opening gala. Here is the upcoming schedule (weekends, from 11AM-6PM)

1st weekend: February 10-11 Upcountry

2nd weekend: February 17-18 West, Central, North Shore and Hana

3rd weekend: February 24-25 Kihei and Wailea

Did I mention the event is free?

 

One of my favorites

One of my personal favorites, Beth Cooper, is participating in the 3rd weekend event here in Kihei. Over the years I’ve bought a few of her paintings for our condos and many of our cards (prints of our paintings).

Maui Open Studios
One of my favorite Beth Cooper paintings provides color in our Maui Kamaole condo bathroom

 

You can also find Beth’s paintings in our Sugar Beach condo (her Tahiti scene in our living room) and at our Palms at Wailea condo (a small beach scene in the hallway). Here is another picture of one of Beth’s cards.

Maui Open Studios
one of Beth’s cards I’ve bought – when were you at the beach last?
Comment »

Death in Paradise

This past week has been crazy. In the past nine days six tourists have died in the ocean with another near-fatality this morning. No, the sharks are not to blame – these men in their 50s and 60s died while snorkeling/scuba diving. I’ve linked these short articles so you can read a few of the details.

My condolences to their loved ones. This is a tragedy. When we go on vacation, we plan for things such as bad weather, sickness, even poor accommodations. But certainly not death.

 

How common are water-related deaths?

While this string of deaths from the past week is unheard of, water-related deaths are unfortunately more common than most think. According to statistics compiled by MauiNow we average between 12-25 deaths/year by drowning on Maui, the majority of them tourists. For much more information, please check out this article filled with statistics from MauiNow.

death
This is a graph borrowed from MauiNow.

 

What should you do?

Should you avoid the ocean altogether? No. I am not trying to scare you. But, it is important to understand that while Maui is paradise, it’s not Disney. Bad stuff can and does happen, you need to understand risks and take action accordingly. Consider these suggestions:

  • If you can’t swim, you should not go snorkeling. As an alternative, check out all the local fish at the Maui Ocean Center. It really is well done.
  • Snorkeling may seem like an easy and relaxing activity, but in reality it can place a lot of stress on your heart. It is easy to ‘become panicked either from swallowing water, not getting enough air, or simply from fear due to strong currents or waves.’ According to this Maui doctor’s article, cardiac arrest is the main factor to snorkeling deaths in people over the age of 50. Please, take the time to read the article.
  • Never snorkel (or dive) alone. Always use the buddy system and keep an eye on your buddy.
  • Be aware of water and wave conditions. The waves pick up at a certain time in the morning – snorkel early in the morning (before 9) for best conditions.
  • There is some discussion online about full-face masks possibly trapping CO2 in the mask. While this is an unproven theory, ask the pros and be sure you know how to properly use your equipment, making sure it is working correctly.
  • Remember – yes, some people die in drowning related accidents. However, consider that in 2016 we had 2.6 million visitors come to the island of Maui. According to the graph above, thirteen of them drowned. While that in itself is awful, the odds are you will be just fine. However do use common sense and be careful.

 

What to do if you see someone not moving in the water?

Call for help (9-1-1), try to get help to move them out of the water as soon as possible and start CPR.

Comment »

October’s events on Maui

Can you believe it’s already October? This year continues to fly by. Here are a few October’s events to check out if you are here this month.

October's events
the pumpkin patch at Kula Country Farms is open
Kula Country Farms

Their annual pumpkin patch is open again! They also have a small corn maze and farm-style mini-golf course. Check out their facebook page for more details. They are usually closed on Sunday – not sure about the schedule during pumpkin season. This is also a great opportunity to buy yummy locally grown fruit and vegetables!

95th Annual Maui County Fair

This year’s fair is October 5-8 at the fair grounds in Kahului. It starts off with the annual parade Thursday late afternoon, and then is open Thursday and Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday all day/evening. The orchid show is supposed to be amazing. And then of course there are rides, food and much more…

Moonlight Mele Concert

This Hawaiian music concert is hosted by the Maui Historical Society at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Admission is only $5 per person, children 12 and under are free.

12th Annual Ukulele Festival

October 14-15 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Festival. I have friends who go every year – it sounds like a lot of fun!

Maui Marathon

This takes place October 15th. Watch out for runners on the road between Kahului and Kaanapali!

Halloween Haunted House of Horror

This must be a new event – starting October 20th and running through Halloween in the old Hard Rock Cafe space at the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina. Don’t forget to get your parking validated when you buy something at the Outlets!

Halloween in Lahaina

This is an annual event that takes place on Front Street in Lahaina. Yes, there are shuttle buses that run between Kihei and Lahaina, so look into that and get your tickets  (for the bus) early. The event itself is free.

Comment »

Kapalua’s Dragon’s Teeth

Dragons Teeth
entering the mouth of the dragon

We recently went for a drive up to Lahaina and Kapalua. One of my favorite things to do there is to check out Dragon’s Teeth. It is also known as Makaluapuna Point. This is a rock formation formed by a lava flow on Maui. The rock has a somewhat different composition than say the lava flow at La Perousse, and has been weathered by the ocean.

I was commenting to my family that it looks like it’s had some additional weathering from the elements since we were there last a year ago or so. I was also disappointed that someone had etched their names into one of the teeth. Really? Why destroy the natural beauty of this place?

Dragons Teeth
this is the entrance to the burial ground. Please be respectful and stay out.

Please be aware that you pass a native Hawaiian burial ground on the way to the formation, so please do stay on the path (the burial ground is gated off on the right – please do not trespass).

To access Dragon’s Teeth, drive through Kapalua and turn left on Office Road (the exit for the Ritz Carlton). At the end of Office Road hang a right and park. Then head down the golf course (there is a marked path on the right side) towards the ocean. It leads you right to the rock formation, which, in case you were wondering, kind of looks like a mouth full of teeth when you first enter it. You will want to wear decent shoes for this walk and really watch your step.

Dragons Teeth

Bring your beach gear

While you can’t access the ocean from the rock formation, popular DT Flemings Beach is just to the right of it in front of the Ritz. You can access it from the same parking lot by taking the trail in front of the Ritz, however there is better access if you head on back to the main road, turn left and take the next exit.

Comment »

The Lahaina Crawl and Cool Cat Burgers

Lahaina ~ once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and an old whaling village. There is definitely some history to be found in Lahaina. There are of course also many tourist traps and shops along famous Front Street. Most tourists end up driving to Lahaina. The West Side (Lahaina and Kaanapali area) is also a popular tourist destination with many resorts and condos. Some prefer South Maui, others West Maui, and that’s fine.

lahaina
the view from the outlook direction Kihei

The problem with Lahaina is the one lane in each direction highway, also known as the Pali or Honoapiilani Hwy. I would say the main problem (besides the lack of lanes) is that it winds along the Maui coastline. The view is frankly breathtaking. In fact, in parts it is so close to the ocean that during high tide the ocean will actually spray onto your car. As you can imagine, this is not good for the road….

This is THE ONLY road to Lahaina, unless you count the somewhat treacherous backroad (driving from Wailuku counter-clock-wise to Lahaina) which is really not recommended. Increased tourism, increased development, a two lane road and a gorgeous view – this road can get very backed up from people slowing down to either enjoy the view, pull into beach parks or just due to traffic signals. Locals call it ‘the Lahaina Crawl’. While the drive should take about 45 minutes, it can take twice that, even without an accident. Just last summer people were stranded in Lahaina and Ma’alaea because the road was impassible due to accidents and wild fires.

Rule of thumb, leave yourself extra time and don’t get excited when traffic ahead of you isn’t going even close to the speed limit (it fluctuates between 35 and 55 mph, watch the signs). Just ignore your speedometer and ‘go with the flow’. Unless you are the front car – then please drive at least the speed limit and watch out for those speed signs. Please.

Is there no plan to widen or relocate the road? Well….. yes and no….. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Last Sunday’s Maui News has an article about that.

Cool Cat Cafe
lahaina
our burgers at Cool Cat Cafe

A few weeks ago our family braved the Lahaina Crawl and then tried a new-to-us restaurant, the Cool Cat Cafe. It’s upstairs across from the Banyan Tree. I highly recommend. These burgers are enormous and super fresh.

Comment »

The Grand Wailea Luau

We have had family visiting which is always fun! They wanted to go to a luau, so I put my research cap on to figure out which of Maui’s luaus we should attend.

There are several – in Wailea there are two, offered at the Wailea Marriott and Grand Wailea. On the West side there are several in Lahaina and Kaanapali: the Old Lahaina Luau, Feast of Lele, Drums of the Pacific and Royal Lahaina Luau (Hyatt).

Another option, if you are looking for the cultural story (and not the dinner), is the Ulalena – which is like a musical and indoors in a theatre. I highly recommend it – it is very good.

luau
sunset at the Grand Wailea luau

According to Tripadvisor, the Old Lahaina Luau ranks best. However, if you are staying in Kihei or Wailea, that’s a good 45-60 minute drive away if traffic is moving. That highway between Maalaea and Lahaina can get really backed up, and it’s just one lane each direction, so if there’s an accident, you could be a lot longer. Add the drive to the fact that drinks are included in the ticket price, you’ve got to figure that many drivers will have been drinking as you drive back to your condo (Maui County has strict don’t drink and drive rules, btw).

Grand Wailea luau

We let our visiting family choose, and they chose the Grand Wailea luau. Perfect. We got our tickets online at Costco.com (just do a luau search and it comes up). They email you confirmation numbers for each ticket, then you call the Grand Wailea and make the reservations. Children tickets (12 and under) you get a discounted rate directly at the Grand Wailea when you make reservations.

The food was good, show was fun, yes, there’s an imu pit with a pig roasting in it. Is it the most authentic experience? No. But in truth, none of the luaus are authentic. Authentic would be a feast with friends and family, not a commercial event. But, it’s fun and a nice way to spend an evening.

luau
Uncovering the imu pit with the roast pig

 

Comment »

How to eat at Ruth Chris’ steak house for less

If you like steak, you may want to check out Ruth Chris’ steak house while on Maui. There are two – one at the Shops at Wailea, the second in Lahaina at the Old Lahaina Center (on Front Street).

However, you may be a little shocked at how expensive Ruth Chris’ is. You order your meat (avg $50), the sides are all extra.

shops at wailea
Ruth Chris’ at the Shops at Wailea location

We recently decided to take one of our steak-loving family members as a very special birthday treat. Here’s what we found:

There is an early-bird Prime Time menu. Make reservations and arrive between 5-6pm and you can select from a 3 course prix-fixe menu for $49 or $59. Considering the meat alone usually averages upwards of $50, plus $12 or so per side, this is a great deal. You get a choice of two salads, three entrees (filet, chicken and fish of the day), one side (potato, creamed spinach etc), and desert.

Also, there is a happy hour menu. For this I believe you have to arrive at 5pm and it appears it may be first-come first-serve. I recommend you call and ask for details.

For further savings, go to Costco. The Kahului Costco currently has $100 Ruth Chris gift cards on sale for $80. This gives you an additional 20% discount.

If you prefer to eat later and are staying at one of our condos, be sure to take along the Pueo discount card from the condo (this one is for the Wailea location only). We have these in all our condos for our guests to use, but they are also available for purchase at Kihei’s Kamalii Elementary School for $10. The 2016/17 discount card gives you a 15% discount, though not on the Prime Time menu and not on holidays.

How was dinner?

The steak was great, the atmosphere upscale and nice. Our steak-lover loved his steak (apparently it’s better than my cooking). It was a fun treat.

Comment »

Attend a PGA golf tournament!

Every year the first PGA golf tournament of the year is held right here on Maui. It takes place in Kapalua at the famed Plantation Course. What a great opportunity to check out a beautiful golf course and admire the view.

Last year was my first time going to the PGA golf tournament. While the kids play golf, I was sure I’d be completely bored. Surprisingly I enjoyed myself (though I did get a sunburn).

 

plantation course
Nearing the 10th hole at the Plantation Course

We went again this year – the sponsor has changed, it’s now called the SBS Tournament of Champions. Tickets are cheap – we had bought ‘any day’ passes at $15/adult directly at the Kapalua Golf Course club house (that includes free admission of up to 3 children per adult). You can also buy tickets at Ticketmaster. We drove to Lahaina where there was free event parking (just behind the tennis courts and the Kaanapali fire station). From there we took the free shuttle bus to the Plantation Course past Kapalua. It’s about a 10 minute ride, shuttles were going every 20-30 minutes. Note, you have to take the shuttle, there is no drop-off zone – there just isn’t a good turn-around location. There may be exceptions for mobility-challenged guests, but you would need to check into that.

Note: they do have a restriction on purse-size, so if you must, bring the smallest you have. I didn’t know, and was asked to ‘check my bag’ at a counter. They did have plastic bags for purchase ($1/each), so I didn’t need to leave anything of value in my purse. We received a program and map of the course, volunteers told us where good viewing areas were.

plantation course
The first tee at the 2017 SBS Tournament of Champions

We had planned ahead and arrived just in time to see Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth (the winner of last year’s tournament) tee off. We then wandered to the 9th hole where we sat in bleachers for a while, watching the pros. After buying water and snacks, we walked to the 10th hole (a walk through a ravine) and watched a number of players try their luck there. As a bonus there was a lot of humpback whale activity to watch at that hole too.

We stayed about 3 1/2 hours, then caught the shuttle bus back to the parking lot and carried on with our day.

I must say, I was impressed at how well organized the event was. The tournament continues through tomorrow, after which the pros fly to Oahu for their next tournament.

Do you love golf?

I know of several golf loving visitors who volunteer at this PGA golf tournament every year. Look into it!

Comment »

Lahaina and the Maui Tropical Plantation

My hunny is away, so today the kids and I spent a fun day doing Mom-son stuff. Lahaina was on the agenda (we had to make a stop at the Adidas outlet store for some new shoes) and without Sig present we had a big decision to make…. where to have lunch? In seven years of living on Maui we have twice NOT gone to Bubba Gump’s when in Lahaina – yes, Sig is a huge fan of Bubba Gump’s. To be fair, it has a great location on Front Street, the building being on stilts over the ocean, but…. I like a little variety. (FYI, the other two places we’ve been were Longhi’s and Pi Artisan Pizza – both very good).

lahaina
our burgers at Cool Cat Cafe

Today’s lunch choice was the Cool Cat Cafe for some burgers. This restaurant is located on the top floor of the Wharf Cinema Center across from the Banyan Tree. Our burgers were excellent, and honestly, we should not have ordered the shared basket of fries… we had way too much food.

After lunch we headed across the street to a fun gift/clothing shop, Maui Memories, owned by Austrian transplant Dany White. This shop relocated from Wailea to Lahaina a few years ago and is now in the old Pioneer Hotel building, also across from the Banyan Tree. I had a gift certificate burning in my pocket and found some beautiful abalone jewelry for myself ‘for Mother’s Day’.

lahaina

On the way home… a stop at the Maui Tropical Plantation

After some successful shoe shopping, we headed back towards Kihei where we took a little detour to visit the local ducks at the Maui Tropical Plantation. If you haven’t been here, do go check it out – it’s only about five minutes from North Kihei! Apart from the obligatory gift shop, they have repurposed some old sugar cane factory gear in their landscaping and an actual steam engine in the bar at the Mill House. So very cool. I have yet to come hear for dinner or drinks, but it’s on my list…. Additionally they have a (beginner) zipline, coffee roaster etc.

lahaina
A train in a bar? Yep! Only on Maui 🙂

What a fun day! Unlike the Anaheim Ducks (who were soundly defeated by the Edmonton Oilers today – oh dear), the local ducks were in great spirits, happily eating what kids were feeding them 🙂

Now back to the grind – cleaning and doing homework for the kids, blogging and making dinner for me.

Comment »

Upcoming Maui Events

On Maui and looking for something to do? It may be low season on Maui, but there is lots to do! Here are a few upcoming Maui events you may want to check out:

The annual Maui Onion Festival had been announced to be on for this May, but I am not seeing any information on it at this time. Whalers Village in Kaanapali has been undergoing a renovation, so it could be the venue isn’t ready on time.

Also, remember the Maui Swap Meet takes places every Saturday 7am-2pm at the University of Hawaii Maui Campus (across from the MACC).

And yes – we do have spring availability at our condos!

Comment »
1 2 3 5